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Import taxes?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Mr. Zebraface, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. Hello, I guess this is OT, if not, mods please feel free to move it. :)

    Ok, I want to import a Jazz Bass with a soft case over from Japan, from Ishibashi Music. I've looked all over the place on the net for info, but can't find any. Does anyone know what the approximate cost of this would be? I think it's like 17.5% VAT, and some sort of import tax as well.

    Thanks if anyone can help me.
  2. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    importing into the EU it should just be VAT mate
  3. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    or, thinking on, get it marked up as a gift and then your not taxed at all
  4. I have imported a fair number of instruments from the US. Everytime I have done so there is an import duty levelled before the VAT is calculated. This is usually between 3% and 5%. The shipping charge is also taxed (why??). The VAT is then calculated on the new amount (including the duty). You can get quite a lot of info from the customs and excise site including the rates of exchange being used for the month of import. I have found the C&E to be very helpful in explaining all this kind of stuff. The gift/sample idea will sometimes work but might cause some investigation from C&E for a large value item. I hope this helps.

    The link is for the web site :-

    UK Customs and Excise
  5. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    as you can see at the left. i'm from germany, but it looks as if Nick Bassman's description applies here as well.

    i'll be importing a nordstrand (YES-YES-YES!), and the german customs office told me the following:

    3% duty on (instrument price + shipping)
    vat (17%) on (duty + bass' price + shipping)
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - Customs routinely levy import duty. If they actually decide to open up your package, being suspicious about its contents, they will raise a charge for their time in doing this - which can add even more!!

    I think you want to be careful about being "dishonest" with customs as well - apart from a big fine if they catch you - you could end up with a criminal record as well!! :meh:

    Something as big as a bass is not going to get through un-noticed and there is next-to-no chance of it avoiding charges. Whereas small packages with a customs sticker, saying they have no commercial value can often avoid duty...?
  7. Bruce is absolutely correct.

    I think it is next to impossible to avoid charges on an item like a bass. As he also says you could end up with a hefty bill and a criminal record.
    Just not worth it really.

  8. Some bass parts I ordered from stewmac got caught in customs, they called me and wanted to charge me 40€ for opening the box, i said no way (the parts cost ~$50) and after a bit of name-calling they agreed to ship the parcel to the nearest customs-office (free!) and have me open it.
  9. Cheers fellas. The total of the bass including shipping before any tax is £304. So if we add 17.5% VAT and then say 6% import tax, I guess i'll be looking round an extra £80 or so all together. I don't really mind paying upto £400 after tax on this bass, as MIM Fenders over here are about £350 anyway.
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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